Pinstripe Bowl Football

Iowa right tackle Sean Welsh holds up the trophy as confetti falls after Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, right, presented it to him and other players at the conclusion of the Pinstripe Bowl on Wednesday in New York. Iowa defeated Boston College 27-20.

AP

Thumbs up to IT Academy and its sponsor, Deere & Co.

For an hour a week, students from Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley high schools met in classrooms and at Deere's headquarters and were mentored under the firm's tech wizards.

The program is part of an Iowa initiative to bolster real-world education in informational technology, a key skill for all members of the postmodern workforce.

In this instance, the two teams -- consisting of a combined 12 students -- created a pair of functioning applications. 

From coding to hardware, the computer sciences are hugely important now that humankind has access to the most sweeping collection of information in its history. The IT Academy is a program that every district throughout Quad-Cities should hope to clone. 

Thumbs down to proponents of the so-called "Personhood Bill," who again hope this year to jam this thinly veiled affront to the U.S. Constitution through the Iowa Legislature. 

The proposed legislation last year died in a Senate Committee after falling two votes short of approval. The push is on to secure those votes and get it through the floor in an election year.

It's legislation that would effectively ban abortion in Iowa by declaring a fetus a human being with full legal protections. This is, after all, a subjective determination and a clearly unconstitutional one at that.

A woman's right to an abortion is established precedent and has been for more than 40 years. Pro-life activists won a major victory last year, when lawmakers removed state funding from Planned Parenthood, causing the closure of four facilities. That bill was bad public health. This one is an assault on the rights of citizens. 

Thumbs up to the Iowa Hawkeyes, which, late last month, ended a streak of bowl losses by defeating Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl.

There were some good signs for the Hawkeyes, especially late in the game. This is a team on the upswing. 

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